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The Purpose of Min


Hopefire
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The Purpose of Min

 

This is long. Towards the end, I’m going to start speculating madly. You’ve been warned.

 

Reading a thread elsewhere debating whether or not Dyelin should have replaced Elayne, it got me thinking. If something had happened to Elayne, there was a backup in place to get Andor to the Last Battle. If something happened to Mat, Rand would still have Ituralde, Bashere, and probably Agelmar, as well as the Aiel clan chiefs. If Perrin or Egwene died, the good guys still had someone who can use TAR effectively – presumably Amys and Elyas would also be able to step up in some ways, Siuan and Faile and others in others. Had Rand not brought Nynaeve to the Cleansing, Alivia was available, even more powerful, and perhaps even more loyal in her way to Rand. When Moiraine fell, Cadsuane appeared shortly thereafter to help guide Rand.

 

Obviously, every one of those is important. Losing any of them would severely hurt the good guys. But for virtually every main character, there’s a character that could conceivably step into their role and get the job done, if not as well. They’re not perfect substitutes. But adequate substitutes exist.

 

There are two characters that seem to me to be irreplaceable. One is Rand. By nature of what he is, he acts as a lightning rod and banner. All eyes are focused on him, and have been through the majority of the series. In Lord of Chaos, Mat dances with one of the Forsaken. In Winter’s Heart, he walks into a room with another (he even notices that the dice have stopped, and wonders if a Forsaken is about to jump out of the fire place, though the presence of Semirhage wasn’t why they stopped). With a few exceptions (Graendal trying to get Perrin in Towers of Midnight, the Gholum targeting Mat), the Shadow hasn’t exactly expended resources trying to get Perrin and Mat, while Rand has been the target of several direct plots. It’s not that the Shadow doesn’t occasionally shrug and try to take an opportunity or put up wanted notices, but Mat and Perrin are on a much lower level, and the rest of the good guys are even lower on the scale.

 

The other irreplaceable character is Min.

 

I don’t think that Elayne or Aviendha could provide Rand the support that Min provided him. At the end, they helped provide him a reason not to destroy the world. Aviendha helped him understand the Aiel, Elayne helped him understand politics in general. Neither, as I see them, could stand by Rand as he fell into madness. Earlier, Min rescued Siuan and Leane and effectively rescued Logain, when no one else was able to. Min also inadvertently triggered the entire Tower schism, which was necessary to put Egwene in place as the Amyrlin Seat.

 

Min has picked up the role of other people, when they were slow to arrive or dead. When Rand was wounded by Ishamael, Min saved his life, getting to him well before Egwene did. When Herid Fel died, Min took up philosophy and metaphysics, and seems to be the only person primarily investigating the nature of the Bore and how to close it.

 

There are a few other curious things about Min.

 

Firstly, her special ability itself is unique so far as we’ve seen. Hurin mentioned that there were other sniffers in the Borderlands. We’ve seen other wolfbrothers. So far, we’ve seen no unique talents about Aes Sedai or other people who can channel that I’m aware of. Min, and Min alone, has an absolutely unique ability among humans. The only thing like it we’ve seen so far as I’m aware is the Aelfinn ability to see a person’s future, though in a much less precise way.

 

Secondly, so far as I can remember, she’s never been targeted by the Shadow except once, where Semirhage has Rand try to kill her. I think that that was the first time all series that she’s been hurt. She’s spent months among the Seanchan, keeping Egwene sane. She’s had Lanfear walk in to see her in bed with Rand. She was ignored in the Tower split. She was unharmed (physically at least) when the Aes Sedai Dragonnapped Rand. Semirhage’s plot to pretend to be Tuon didn’t result in Min being harmed. How many other main characters have taken so little injury, despite the dangers they’ve been in? Min walks through virtually everything without a scratch.

 

Thirdly, unlike every other main character, Min has never killed a person. The closest she got was when she hurt Semirhage.

 

Fourthly, from a very early point in the series, Rand has been certain that Min would NEVER hurt him. Throughout the series, Rand has been absolutely certain of that.

 

Finally, Min has no parents that we’ve seen or heard anything about. She was raised by her Aunts. No word about what happened to her parents.

 

So, I have a few thoughts.

 

Firstly, I can’t help but wonder if Min is actually a direct manifestation of the will of the Pattern. Not Ta’veren, but a being created (possibly ex nihilo) for the purpose of ensuring that things happened as they need to happen. The Pattern itself is a cheating bastard, and Min might very well be its trump card. A sort of a subtle “don’t mind her, she’s not important!” effect seems to happen around her where Rand’s enemies are concerned. I could be wrong; this might just be a perception, but again: aside from the incident with the Domination Band, no one has targeted Min.

 

Min has in many ways been the fulcrum on which the war has balanced for the good guys. Even looking ahead to the Field of Merrilor, Min might be the only person on good terms with every significant faction.

 

And this got me thinking about something else that I’d thought of earlier, that the Chekhov’s Gun preparing to fire in A Memory of Light, first seen somewhere between chapters thirty and forty in The Dragon Reborn. We’ve been beat over the head with the idea that Rand knows he can trust Min implicitly, that she’d never do anything to harm him. And I got to thinking: where is the Judas in this story?

 

It’s quite possible that the story will unfold without a Judas, and Alivia and Egwene both make for promising parallels if there is one. But more and more, I suspect that Min might fill the role. I don’t want to suggest that Min would willingly try to harm Rand. But she could be compelled, one final ploy by the Shadow to remove Rand from the game board. Or a situation could arise where she realizes something like Rand’s blood is necessary to seal the Bore, Rand is twigging out from the Dark One’s presence in the Pit of Doom overwhelming his shield of Light on his brain, and Min stabs him in the side. The “Memory of Light” being the certainty that Min would never, ever harm him, and being what lets Min get close enough to Rand to do what the Pattern created her to do.

 

It'd probably be the single most sad and tragic thing in the series, if Min was to be the one to kill Rand. It'd break my heart. But it has the potential for damn good storytelling.

 

Or I could be completely wrong, way out in left field.

Edited by Hopefire
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yeah Min is really interesting. It has really intrigued me throughout the series how she can see the fates (in a way) of others but not herself. It's going to be quite interesting to see her fate. I think she'll die but that's just me. Hope not. I really like her as a character. Out of Rand's three women, my favorite from best to worst are Min, Aviendha, Elayne so hopefully Min lives:)

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I would disagree. Min can see the pattern's future. Other substitutes:

 

1. Ae/Elfinn.

2. Either terangreal used by Aes Sedai or Wise Ones.

3. Portal stones.

4. Dreamwalkers.

5. Foretelling.

 

I think there's plenty of characters who can (or who possibly could) see the future of the pattern. The only difference though is that Min's are guaranteed to come true, while for everybody else they show possible futures...except for the Ae/Elfinn, who are also 100% correct.

 

On the other hand, I just re-read ToM, and there was a discussion about the accuracy of Min's viewings. If the DO wins, her viewings lose their guarantee, because the DO would destroy the Pattern, and thus invalidate her viewings.

Edited by Toy'varen
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I would disagree. Min can see the pattern's future. Other substitutes:

That's not the reason she has no substitutes. Essentially, getting Rand to the Last Battle in mostly one piece is why she has no substitutes. I don't think that anyone else could do it.

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I would disagree. Min can see the pattern's future. Other substitutes:

That's not the reason she has no substitutes. Essentially, getting Rand to the Last Battle in mostly one piece is why she has no substitutes. I don't think that anyone else could do it.

 

Oh, I didn't see that in your main argument.

 

To counter-argue this point, I would argue that Tam served the same purpose, and that if you are only talking about his physical, rather than his mental, health, Far Dareis Mai and even Moiraine would be higher on the list than Min.

Edited by Toy'varen
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To counter-argue this point, I would argue that Tam served the same purpose, and that if you are only talking about his physical, rather than his mental, health, Far Dareis Mai and even Moiraine would be higher on the list than Min.

Mental health.

 

Now that you bring him up, I have to agree that Tam is the closest thing to a substitute available. But even there, he doesn't have the absolute reluctance to harm Tam that he does for him. Obviously, he didn't balefire his father, but I don't think that there's any way that Rand would try to balefire Min, even in his worst insanity.

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The "substitude" thing is not really necessary for your main theory. I like the idea of Min doing something so drastic and tragic at the end, something that we would fail to understand, that would make us collapse for pages before we get a glimpse of "Why".

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It wouldn't surprise me in the least if Min turned out to be Chekhov's Gun. I'm not sure about her harming Rand - at least, not directly; she did have that Viewing about Alivia 'helping him die' - but the bits about Rand being so sure she wouldn't harm him are pointed to say the least!

 

I'm still intrigued that LTT added her name to Rand's list of women for whose death he held himself responsible (TGS29), though he did insist to the LTT-voice that Min was still alive, and his attack on her had been Semi, not him. That has to signal something!

Edited by FarShainMael
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I like the theory... I mean, I hate the end result, but it's an awesome theory... It truly would be the thing that would have the greatest and most shocking impact I think. Even Rand turning to the Dark One would not be so shocking I think, because he has been so close so many times already, but Min betraying Rand :ohmy::sad:

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The Judas role has been filled: Verin. There is no way Min would betray Rand, it's thematicly improbable. She is one of the Three Ladies of the Fisher King myth. I can definitly see her as a very pivital role on aMoL, her learning all that philosophy coulnt be simply have been only for the clensing of Saiden. I think it's going to have a great deal to do with either Rand's death or the final closing of the Bore. Or both.

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...aside from the incident with the Domination Band, no one has targeted Min.

And even this was not an act targeted at Min, but rather one targeted at Rand. Min was just a tool, in this case.

 

...where is the Judas in this story? ... I suspect that Min might fill the role. I don’t want to suggest that Min would willingly try to harm Rand. ... Or a situation could arise where she realizes something like Rand’s blood is necessary to seal the Bore, Rand is twigging out from the Dark One’s presence in the Pit of Doom overwhelming his shield of Light on his brain, and Min stabs him in the side.

There's a theory some theologians ascribe to that Judas Iscariot's actions were not evil or selfishly motivated, but rather his motives were pure and good. Instead of betraying Jesus, they say he handed him over to authorities with Jesus' consent, setting into motion the chain of events needed to fulfill what many Christians regard as scriptural prophecies of salvation through Jesus' crucifixion. (I am not implying that I ascribe to this theory) In fact, Judas confronting Jesus personally with a kiss on the cheek was actually a legal action, not one of spite, a form of formal accusation.

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I don't think Min will get a fancy new role. She already has to figure how Rand can seal the DO.

My guess that in aMoL Rands girlfriends will work togheter somehow. Haven't seen that yet.

 

If you think about it Mins viewings have been pretty useless so far. Very few times somebody changed his plans because of a viewing. Alivia maybe but she would've stuck around anyway.

Edited by Thorgan
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I think Taim fits the "Judas" role better than Min.

 

Aside from that, I like how you pointed out all these unique thing about Min. It is kind of creepy in a way. She is by far the most unique and odd character of the series. She doesn't fit any of the standards of the world that the other characters do and some things about her just can not be explained.

 

I don't know if I would buy the notion of her being a "devine birth" type being, created directly by the Pattern. However, her personality and unique Talent being created out of the Pattern's need to guide the Dragon and give him a certain kind of support would make sense. I also think that the Taver'en'ness of Rand and it's need to have Min would be enough to keep her safe. She is never harmed, but there always seems to either be people around her to protect her, to get attacked instead, or she is simply and oddly ignored. This to me calls for the pattern being bent around her, due to Rand's need, in such a way as to keep her unharmed so she is there to guide him.

 

So, less some sort of divine creation, and more so, a constant support system that he needs. Similar to Nynaeve and Moraine (who's guidance lasted even after her death). That is why I think those three are the 3 women on the boat. They seem to be pushed by the Pattern to be a base and feminine support system for Rand, one he trusts almost absolutely.

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